The biggest drama Friday night at Yale may be halftime, when Yale will find out if Columbia was able to knock off Princeton at Jadwin. If not, the Elis will likely have to win out.
Yale will be playing its first repeat league game without Jack Montague, with the Elis having already played (and defeated) Harvard sans Montague less than two weeks ago. The experience of that will help. Montague, unfortunately is now out for the rest of the season after having withdrawn from the university.
The Elis beat Harvard, 67-55, at Lavietes Pavilion earlier this month. It was not that close.
That game featured some interesting statistics. Harvard outrebounded Yale, 36-33. That never happens with the Elis. Harvard had six blocks, to only one by Yale. Harvard also shot a paltry 50 percent from the free throw line. That hurt but did not decide the game.
Justin Sears had 21 points and Makai Mason added 15 at Harvard. Look for them to perform similarly Friday night. Yale has started to experiment with freshmen, including rookie guard Trey Phills playing some at the point. That will probably continue in preparation for a tough regular season finale at Columbia and a possible playoff game against Princeton at the Palestra.
The cream of the crop in the Ivies are clearly Yale and Princeton. This will be the one off-year for Harvard in many, past and future. The Crimson won two out of three against Yale last season and won at Payne Whitney. That won’t happen on Friday night.